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On Thursday, the First Lady of Ekiti State, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, extended support to market women by providing palliative materials to help alleviate the economic challenges they and their families are facing.

The Governor’s wife visited Irona Market, a well-known neighborhood market in the state capital, where she distributed food items and cash support to over 120 traders as a gesture of solidarity and support.

Dr. Oyebanji encouraged the traders to continue praying for the administration of her husband, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, as well as for the Federal Government led by President Bola Tinubu. She assured them that despite the current challenges, better times are ahead for both the state and the country.

The First Lady personally visited the beneficiaries in their stalls and shops, taking the time to hand out the assistance herself. She emphasized that her husband’s administration is committed to supporting every segment of the population and is dedicated to alleviating their hardships.

A total of 60 indigent petty traders, who sell items such as vegetables, okra, locust beans, and ponmo (cow skin), received cash support of N15,000 each. Additionally, another 60 elderly beneficiaries received food packs containing rice, beans, garri, salt, and additional cash support of N5,000 to purchase soup ingredients.

Additionally, many other traders whose names were not initially included in the list of beneficiaries also received various forms of cash support from the First Lady. This measure aimed to ensure that the assistance reached a broader spectrum of individuals within the market.

Dr. Oyebanji described the Irona Market as the neighborhood market in the quarter where she was born, recalling with nostalgia that her mother used to send her to the market to purchase items for the family use.

She appreciated the traders for their support for her husband in the last governorship election which brought him to power urging them to always pray for and stand by the government to succeed in the task of making Ekiti better.

According to her, the people of Ekiti State have already seen the impact made by Governor Oyebanji since he came to power in October 2022 noting that more of such support would be needed for greater turnaround in the state.

Speaking on the prevailing economic situation, Dr. Oyebanji stressed that “these hard times will soon past,” urging the people to keep hope alive as efforts are being made to provide solution and bring them succor.

She said: “We know that things are difficult presently, but let’s be patient. This hard time will not last. This difficult period will soon fizzle out.

The governor’s wife promised to look into the traders’ demands for the construction of a new borehole.

In her earlier remarks, the Iyaloja (market leader) of Irona Market, Chief Felicia Abiola, expressed appreciation to the First Lady for visiting the traders and extending support to them. She noted that such a gesture is unprecedented and deeply appreciated by the market community.

Mrs. Abiola said the major problem faced in the market is water scarcity, noting that provision of water facility would go a long way to ease their pain.

The Odoloro of Ado Ekiti, Chief Michael Omotoyinbo, urged the first lady and her husband to continue their good works, noting that the impact is being felt in all parts of the state.

Dr. Oyebanji was accompanied to the market by several dignitaries, including the Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bolaji Olagbaju; the wife of the Speaker, Mrs. Adenike Aribasoye; the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Peju Babafemi; the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Tosin Aluko-Ajisafe, and other officials.

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